CAS was a major contributor to the Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform's joint member response to the 21st Century Welfare Consultation, which saw some of the groups key policy calls for a better welfare system included in the consultation paper.
Although there are very welcome elements in the proposals, there are fundamental problems with the underlying principles of the approach described.
As with previous welfare reforms, the current proposals are predicated on the underlying assumption that the key to tackling poverty is moving people into work. Whilst there is acceptance that ‘work needs to pay’, there is no acknowledgment of the need to tackle the rising numbers of people in “in work” poverty or indeed below poverty level benefit rates2. The proposals fail to address the wider role of the welfare system in protecting those who are not able to work, or for who the rewards of paid work are insufficient to protect from poverty.